A delicately done Horseradish vodka that is made with a deft hand not an iron fist.
Notes: An interesting distillery with a very interesting series of vodkas in their portfolio. They actually call it Polugar (bread wine), but for the sake of simplicity in our reviews we are going to classify it as a vodka (never mind the fact no one would search for bread wine as a category of spirit). Bread wine is actually a more accurate description in some ways than vodka to describe the older more traditional form of vodka, much in the same way that Genever /Jenever forms of gin use the distinction of Vieux Systeme (using pot sills and lower proof distillation to retain flavor) to the new column stills distillation methods use more widely today which yields products with less character.
The distillery itself is built along historic lines, using 18th and 19th century drawings to recreate their still – copper pot stills that look more like a cognac charentais or alembic type still or some of the older stills used for other spirits of that period . Here is one of the few pictures of their stills.
The preparation of ingredients uses traditional wash and malting of grains and nothing else. The water is also not some Reverse Osmosis/filtered to death, fear of flavor water but natural spring water. The vodka is clarified using fresh egg whites and then filtered through birch charcoal – something that only the most prestigious forms of vodka do.
The Rodoinov & Sons Distillery boast an extensive portfolio of Vodka/Polugar/Bread Wine including this example from their flavored varieties their Horseradish, and the other flavored varieties Cherry, Garlic and Pepper, Honey and Allspice (with Pepper), Pepper, Caraway, and Juniper.Using their Wheat and Rye polugar/vodka as the base they then macerate their flavored series then bottle it at the traditional proof of 38.5 % (77 proof which is higher than most commercial flavored vodka.)
It is also equally if not more refreshing that their flavored vodkas are designed to be used with food – a much more responsible and enjoyable way of drinking vodka than most of their competitors products which are chemical candy flavored crap designed for the inexperienced ( not to say underage ) drinkers and bitter bleach blond divorcees looking for some nostalgia and a quick drunk up. These are all grown up vodkas for adults who wish to pair their vodkas with vodka – not drink it under a bridge or in the basement of some friends house.
Appearance:Clear with no inclusions, sediment, etc., On swirling it leaves a light t coat on the glass with the swirl line retreating rapidly small legs that turn into droplets.
First Impression: Moderate notes of horseradish – not the blast I as afraid was going to happen) with earthy root notes and vinegar horseradish and oddly ( but nicely) some traces of juniper like aromatics softening and lingering below the first wave of horseradish .The wheat and the rye round off the edges of what could be a harsher distillate if not carefully done, and add nice round bass notes to an otherwise highly aromatic bouquet
Taste:Wow, not what I expected, the grain and its signature oily entry pave the way and actually stand up more than you would think before yielding to the horseradish then a small bit of warming from the horseradish and a nicely drying finish . While it is warming it is not some corrosive horseradish oil spice bomb – the delicacy is much appreciated and a rare thing. The overall impression is like eating a piece of kimmelwick with a touch horseradish ( like that last bit of a beef on wick sandwich) , with no off notes, chemical flavors or rushing for ice water. Extremely well done.
Drinks:An alternative for a twist on a Gibson (Gin Martini with a cocktail onion instead of the usual olive or lemon twist) and those drinks people call vodka martinis. Works well in Bloody Marys, – but warn people first, and many other drinks calling for a blast spice and aromatics. While horseradish is a relatively exotic flavoring in a drink, think about it – it’s almost as good as butter or bacon! So let your devious mind loose and whip up some drinks no one else has ever tasted. It is also outstanding with food – particularly such as fish (smoked or unsmoked) or other Swedish and Russian cuisine.
Bottle:Clear cylindrical bottle with a tall neck and a light olive colored neck capsule with gold lettering on the vertical with an attractive whitish colored label with antique fonts with a raised copper gold metallic “P”at the top of the label with a drawing of a large Horseradish . A synthetic cork provides a good tight seal but easy to remove.
Other: Like all horseradish products make sure your date or significant other ( or anyone else you want to at least try to get close to) has the same vodka or you will get nowhere !
NB : The original bottles are as described but the bottles for US distribution will follow the same color schemes as described for each flavored vodka but the bottle shape will like the grain series. “Nicely done and distinctive square clear glass bottle with a slightly heavy bottom and rounded shoulders and a distinctive and nicely done rolled lip like an antique bottle. A synthetic cork provides a tight seal and is topped by a finished wood cork and the back label has a fair bit of information about it on the label ( but go to the website for far more detail) . This series of vodka is very distinctive in a sea of frosted glass cylinders (every other vodka it seems) , makes it easy to stand out at a distance on s shelf and overall makes for a very Lux presentation.”
Final Thoughts: A truly interesting and well made vodka if a bit quirky. Well worth buying and experimenting with, It could open ip a whole new horizon of cocktails and food accompaniments !
A well laid out and easy to navigate page with some fascinating history on vodkas and bread wine. A quick but must read page for vodka fans – or anyone who wants more information on the vodka family of spirits